Like, totally Gross
Austria in the 1920s was doing it tough. Its loss suffered in WW1 had seen the economy tank and unemployment soar to around 26 percent. The government-funded Grossglockner project, which began in 1930, would give work to around 4000 men over a five-year period. Some explosives were used, but much of the road was cut by hand.
Race on it
Hillclimbing on the Grossglockner started in 1935 (on gravel!) and ran uphill from the northern side over a 19.5km course. The quick men included Hans Stuck ( Snr) in a rear-engined Auto Union and Hermann Lang in a Mercedes. In 1938, a chap named Ferdinand Porsche had a crack in a KDF- Wagen ( Beetle), but was a little off the pace.
Get to it
The town at the base of the southern side of the Grossglockner is Heiligenblut; on the northern side it’s Bruck. Both have plenty of affordable accommodation, or stay on the Grossglockner itself at Edelweisshuette Inn. There are plenty of restaurants, hundreds of hiking trails, and loads of other attractions beyond the thrill of driving.